It was December 7, 2007 and I was sitting at my computer early in the morning, staring at the keyboard. It was the end of an extremely difficult week that had started out with learning that I had a suspicious mass in my left breast. Now it was time to write about it and it was the last thing I wanted to do. I was numb with shock, fear and even grief. Though I had not yet had a biopsy, I'd had a diagnostic mammogram the day before and the radiologist was blunt. While cancer could not be confirmed until the biopsy was done, the type of tumor I had, a spiculated mass, was almost always without question cancer and what's more, it was an indicator that the cancer was aggressive.
As a teenager, I had watched my dad lose his battle with cancer and I knew it wasn't pretty. The only thing I wanted to do was curl up in a corner, cover myself up and cry. Instead God told me to go to CB and write. I didn't want to do that. I did not want to write about what I was experiencing. I did not want to be "vulnerable". I did not want people to see my weaknesses and fears, particularly strangers who might chide me for not trusting God if I said I was afraid or tell me that God must be punishing me so I needed to repent. Perhaps they might not say it but I knew there might very well be those who would think it.
Perhaps I could simply journal about it. That way I would be somewhat "safe". My journey would be just between me, God and some select individuals. No, the command was clear. I was to be vulnerable and honestly write about this part of my journey with God, this part of The Testimony Of My Life.
That morning, with tears in my eyes, I wrote a blog entitled "Being In God's Hand As It Passes Through Cancer?", which eventually became part of a series entitled Walking With God In The Midst Of Cancer which contains some selected blogs I wrote while I was going through cancer treatment. Over the past seven years, God has given me the opportunity to meet a number of people who are walking through their own "Valley of the Shadow of Death" and asking the hard questions, "Where are you God? Why is this happening to me? Why can't I seem to hear you?" and "I am afraid!". I've discovered something. When I am "vulnerable" with them, they in turn open up as well and that is when they begin to learn they have not been abandoned by God and that one way or another He will turn their darkness into light (Psalm 18:38).
If you want to share the testimony of your life, if you want to share what God has done and continues to do in your life, you have to be willing to become vulnerable. You have to be willing to share your struggles as well as your victories. Why? Because there is no victory without some sort of struggle and the struggle is a part of our testimony. It says, "This is who I was. This is what I was experiencing and then... this is what God did!" Our testimony is not merely the moment of our salvation. It is the continuing story of our life with God. It is the testimony of God's love, power, mercy, grace, forgiveness and loving care. It is not merely our story, it is a part of God's story and we must be willing to share it.
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